1. There is a large quantity of people.

  2. There are a large quantity of people.

Are both correct?


I thought this excerpt from Oxford Dictionaries was instructive:

Although the expression ‘a number’ is strictly singular, the phrase ‘a number of’' is used with plural nouns (as what grammarians call a determiner (or determiner)). The verb should therefore be plural:

A number of people are waiting for the bus.

This is not the case with ‘the number’, which is still singular:

The number of people here has increased since this morning.

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I'd use number instead of quantity here. I'm not a native speaker, but

There is a large number of people

sounds more natural.

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  • I'm a native speaker, and agree. "There are a large quantity/number of people" is incorrect because there's one quantity/number, whereas "there are lots of people" is fine, because in this case it's the people that there are lots of, not the quantity or number. – AndrewC May 10 '15 at 23:15
  • "Number" is used for countable (integer) things. "Quantity" is used for continuous values. You can only have a whole number of people. – DJClayworth May 10 '15 at 23:53
  • What exactly is the reason you suggest the use of "number" rather than "quantity"? You can't really base your answer, solely, upon the fact that it "sounds more natural" to you, after warning us that you are "not a native speaker." Expand upon this answer, please. – user98990 May 11 '15 at 3:20
  • @AndrewC A larger number of people would seem to use "there are a large number ..." according to these Google Ngrams. Aswers here (by native speakers such as myself) agree ... and contain supporting references. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 9 '17 at 15:24
  • 'There are a large number of people' (compare 'There are a score of people', 'There are a couple of people') sounds more natural (to me). And this usage is backed by authoritative references, which this answer sadly lacks. See Chris's answer. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 9 '17 at 15:26

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